A DONERAILE family who suffered the loss of their son by suicide held an art exhibition sale in their house and raised €9,000 for Pieta House.
Padraig Horgan took his own life on December 16, 2002, when he was just 21 years old. His tenth anniversary fell on December 16 last and to commemorate his death, Orlaith, Padraig's sister, suggested that an art exhibition would be a fitting way to commemorate his death - but she was overwhelmed by the response to her appeal.
"We organised this event so that we could do something positive as a family and community instead of dwelling on the loss and pain," said Orlaith.
A committee was set up, with each contacting artists seeking paintings. But the family were overwhelmed by the response from the community when over 180 paintings were donated from all over the country, and even two were sent from Korea, sent by a man from Mitchelstown.
In the end the art exhibition was held for two days, December 15 and 16, with hundreds turning up to make purchases.
"It was overwhelming to raise €9,000 in two and a half days. People were just incredible and generous," said Orlaith.
She also thanked everybody who has consistently supported the family and in particular for digging deep for Pieta House.
Pieta House was set up by Joan Freeman 10 years ago after her own sister took her life. There is a Pieta House centre in Limerick, they aim to have a centre opened in Bishopstown in the next few weeks, and it is also hoped that a centre will open in Castleisland, County Kerry shortly.
Orlaith said her family wanted to help Pieta House, as they provide a free specialised treatment programme for people who have suicidal thoughts or engage in self harming.
On Valentine's night, at a very special gathering in the Horgan household the family presented Joan Freeman with the surprisingly large cheque.
With some very fine singing from a variety of young talent, food was provided by the Kelly family from the Doneraile Court tearooms, Mick O'Sullivan, the local butcher who also served the food.
Eamonn Horgan, on behalf of the family, thanked all involved, in the exhibition and the night last week.